One of the grave dangers of gambling is that one can easily get addicted to it and since addiction is not something that comes overnight, it can become very difficult to quit gambling. It starts from that first step to try it out so that the person can get the fun out of it or to increase their income or just to test their skills. While these go on, there’s a constant zeal to want to get better, to try out something new or to place a higher bet and this constantly drives the person to a very deep end that backing out becomes unlikely and unthinkable.
Hailey Shafir, LPCS, LCAS, CCS-I explains that “Addiction is a non-medical term that refers to a wide range of mental disorders called Substance Use Disorders. There are a variety of different types of Substance Use Disorders, including Alcohol Use Disorder, Stimulant Use Disorder, and Cannabis Use Disorder, just to name a few.” While there have been efforts made to ease the hearts of people addicted to gambling and help them overcome it, like a depression chat room where they tell their stories and are encouraged to fight the pressure, these efforts have sometimes remained ineffective.
According to REHAB INTERNATIONAL, there is a treatment for gambling addiction which can also be called problem gambling and “Based on recent research, there are currently 2.5 million Americans who have a gambling addiction and an additional three million are considered to be problem gamblers.” (Rehab-international.org)
- There will be an excessive craving for gaming/gambling.
- Reluctance to get involved with other things.
- Uncontrolled anxiety towards gambling.
- Going into unnecessary debts just to gamble.
- Loss of sleep can result in a migraine or depression.
- Lesser family time.
- Frequent visits to gaming centres/casinos.
And a whole lot more.
These symptoms are what can be seen before someone gets addicted or while they are yet to become very much addicted. It can be a result of personality disorders or a problem with drugs and alcohol and there will be a need to test new waters. There is a tolerance level that comes beforehand, it eases them into going on and then they want more, the drive for more leads them into getting addicted.
Forms of gambling
While the form or type depends on the country, the very common one is the casino. Someone can spend a large chunk of time there just trying to have fun or make more money. Often times than not, they end up losing a lot and still put in more just to sight a win.
Sports betting is also very popular and almost all the sports if not all have a betting activity, horse racing is very popular and it really does eat deep into finances and can even result in suicidal attempts.
Dangers of gambling addiction
Just like the dangers associated with gambling, dangers associated with gambling addictions are like a step further and almost the same. “If people were able to say ‘I am a problem gambler’ in the same way that they say ‘I am an alcoholic’ then it would protect them.” A psychiatrist Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones once said.
- Family woes: A family that has a gambler will also have reasons to not agree and argue. This is because of the effect that gambling has on one’s personality, it’s either he or she becomes so far from the home and forgets the family or the excessive need to spend money on betting which can ruin the family and leave them penniless. Even the children will also be a receiver of the problem leaving them to take or make wrong decisions too.
- Alcohol and drugs: While this might have been there before, it could also arise as a result of addiction. There might be a need to want to ease depression and just wade off worries and then they end up becoming drug and alcohol addicts which worsen the case.
- Deformed lifestyle: While the person could have been truthful and sincere, he or she will resort to lying and deceit just to have their way and get what they want or escape queries till another time. So, there’s a continuous thread of lies and insincerity. The person might also lose his or her job and then get put off from the world or just go so far into having an anxiety disorder as a result of excessive anxiety.
- Economic effects: A lot of money is lost to gambling daily and yearly which affects the economy. Unemployment increases as people lose their jobs because of fraudulent activities and they can even go bankrupt and result in stealing. They can sell off their properties and all these will have a great effect on the economic life of the gambler and even the nation.
Treatment of gambling
- As I mentioned earlier that chat rooms or groups have been set up to get addicts to open up and fight the addiction, it might not be fully effective but it’s a great step towards total recovery.
- There are medications also to help ease the pain or symptoms and get them back in shape. Therapy can also be done to adjust their behavior and their reasoning.
“Addiction psychology is only a primary focus. Psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral approaches, mindfulness and evidence based practices. Trusting that clients know how to steer the direction for what should be discussed in therapy.” –Jeremy Frank PhD CADC
It’s not a totally bad case as it can be treated but the best thing is to not start than to start looking for solutions after losing a lot to it already. So, there’s a need to sensitize someone and also to proffer help to those in need of it because as much as gambling will not make the body swell or result in any physical injury, it can easily take someone’s life after battling with the addiction for long.